Welcome home my beautiful optimist
14 - 25 November 2006
In the 1940s American engineer Richard Buckminster Fuller developed a utopian model in architectural design - the geodesic dome. Re-invigorated by counterculture movements in late 1960s and 1970s, the geodesic dome proved an efficient and affordable shelter and expressed a form for sustainable community living. In 1976, the year Bekah Carran was born, the largest and most impressive geodesic dome went up in flames. This burning dome became a symbol of the imminent failure of idealistic visions soon to be replaced by 1980s market economies and sprawling suburbia.
Constructing two cardboard geodesic domes from the Artspace front door, Carran's Welcome home my beautiful optimist intervenes and conceals the white cube. Using simple packing materials, card and tape, the minimalism of the installation is welcoming. Yet its paired down, temporary quality also seems resonant of fleeting and forgotten ideals. Questioning the resurgent concerns of 1970s idealism, the work pertinently provides a place of escapism while simultaneously acknowledging the potency of this desire.
Welcome home my beautiful optimist is filled with nostalgic narratives and a theatrical optimism; the light is left on anticipating your return, the window soften the outside with a warm glow and the sound of falling rain verifies a longing for retreat. In referencing the idealism of the geodesic dome Welcome home my beautiful optimist is hopeful for a sustainable interstitial space, without implying that this aspiration is either attainable or unobtainable. Carran has formed a critical hopefulness.
Bekah Carran is a Dunedin based artist and mother to Ava Flora. She has a BFA from Otago Polytechnic School of Fine Art. In 2003 she was the Olivia Spencer Bower Artist in Residence in Christchurch and until late, a long time trust member of Dunedin's Blue Oyster Gallery. Recent exhibitions include Prospect 2004, City Gallery Wellington, 2004, Welcome to Paradise, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, 2004 and Welcome home my beautiful optimist, The Physics Room, Christchurch, 2006. She is one of two upcoming Physics Room Artists in Residence for 2007.